Good News For Texas: Incoming Californians The Most Intelligent—And May Be Republican!
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20 Years Earlier, by Sam Francis: In California, Immigration Is The Real Terminator

What could be a better place to live than super-Woke California? High taxes ensure relative equality, and lax policing means that criminals aren’t punished too harshly, if they’re punished at all. Surely, the most intelligent people in solidly Republican states, such as Texas, should flock to the Golden State. Migration, after all, is predicted by intelligence, and because intelligent people are more future-oriented, they are better at planning, and more likely to have accrued the resources necessary to migrate, as discussed by Michael Woodley of Menie and myself in our book At Our Wits’ Ends: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What It Means for the Future. But it’s not happening.

In fact my recently published study, coauthored with David Quinn, proves quite the opposite [Is the Ongoing Migration from California to Texas a Migration of Cognitive Capital?, Mankind Quarterly, September 1, 2023]. Quinn and I demonstrate that cognitive capital is moving from California to Texas. Intelligent Californians, to use the American parlance, are “getting the hell out of there.” And strongly conservative Texas is definitely one of their major destinations.

It is something of an old story that Californians are migrating to Texas, but until now it hasn’t been clear that it was definitely the most intelligent Californians who were doing so. In 2022, more than 10 percent of new residents in Texas were from California [Over 1 in 10 New Texas Residents Migrated There From California, by Alexandre Tanzi, Bloomberg, August 29, 2022]. Between 2006 and 2016, 2.5 percent of California’s population abandoned the state, with Texas being the most popular destination: one quarter of Californian migrants made their way to the Lone Star State [Many people are moving from California to Texas, The Economist, June 20, 2019].

As we explain in our study, between 2009 and 2019, about 68,700 Californians moved to Texas annually, according to the American Community Survey. That outpaced the reverse—Texans moving to California. Between 2018 and 2019, twice as many Californians moved to Texas as Texans moved to California. This movement accelerated during the COVID Pandemic. Between 2017 and 2019, 122,516 people moved. Between 2020 and 2022, the figure was 178,292.

Such is the influx of Californians to Texas that Governor Greg Abbott’s 2018 campaign slogan, “Don’t California My Texas,” has become not only a popular adage but also a catchy country-western song. Texans are concerned that Californians will vote Democrat and wreck the state as they wrecked their own [Why are Californians moving to Texas and how that might change the state, Dallas Morning News, September 12, 2022].

A television station interviewed eight Californians from a variety of backgrounds to find out why. Key factors: high taxes and housing costs, bureaucratic red tape that obstructed efficient and profitable business activity, virus-related government lockdowns, Leftist dominance and contempt for conservative values, and high crime partly due to lax policing, itself a reflection of Leftist political dominance [California Dreaming: Moving to Texas, by P. Barker et al., ABC7 News, May 2023].

Law enforcement is so lax in San Francisco that opioid addicts are permitted to live in tents in the streets [The daily battle to keep people alive as fentanyl ravages San Francisco’s Tenderloin, by Erin McCormick, The Guardian, April 23, 2022]. They brawl, commit property crimes, and defecate on the street and sidewalks. In 2022, 37 percent of San Franciscans said they wanted to leave the city within the next three years [Two thirds of San Franciscans say their ‘fentanyl-ravaged’ city has gone to the dogs because of homelessness, crime and extortionate house prices and a third plan to ESCAPE within three years, by James Reinl, Daily Mail, September 14, 2022].

I can attest to the state of law enforcement and how unlivable the state has become from my own experience in July 2023, when I attended the annual conference of the International Society for Intelligence Research in Berkeley. It literally took my breath away. The moment I stepped outside my hotel, I could smell human urine and, very possibly, excrement. There was a huge population of vagrants and prices were sky-high, partly, I imagine, to compensate for the out-of-control shoplifting. At the Target, shoppers couldn’t really shop; i.e., pick items from shelves or off display hooks. An employee had to do it for you because of the shoplifters:

State law holds that stealing merchandise worth $950 or less is just a misdemeanor, which means that law enforcement probably won’t bother to investigate, and if they do, prosecutors will let it go [Why Shoplifting Is Now De Facto Legal In California, by Lee Ohanian, Hoover Institute, August 3, 2021].

Democrats are so unhappy at this clear evidence that their policies create a dreadful place to live that Vice actually “debunked” the “myth” of Californian migration to Texas [A Shocking Number of Californians Are Moving to Texas Unless You Do Basic Math, by Aaron Gordon, August 30, 2022]. Gordon argued that 11 percent of new Texans are Californian. Yet because of California’s population size and general migration patterns within the United States, the figure should be 13 percent. Of course, this is sophistry. The move from California to Texas is a long-distance geographical and cultural move. It cannot reasonably be compared to moving to an adjacent state.

This kind of fallacious argument is textbook cognitive dissonance. They know it’s happening, but it mustn’t happen. So they concoct a superficial proof that it’s not happening, such that their world—superior and always right—continues to make sense.

Criminality correlates with low intelligence. So we would expect law-abiding, intelligent people to leave California. And, as we show, the most intelligent Californians are leaving for Texas.

Census data for California’s counties gave us their racial makeup, the median and mean annual salaries, the percentage of residents with graduate or professional degrees, and the net outflow from a county to Texas between 2016 and 2020. Thus did we have a number of robust proxies for intelligence, including race.

Three of our key findings:

  • The average median earnings of counties with above average migration to Texas as a proportion of the population are 10 percent above the California median. Wealthier Californians are migrating to Texas.
  • Whites are 65 percent of the population in those counties. This is 9 percent above the California median. White Californians are moving to Texas.
  • The average proportion of those holding a graduate or professional degree in those counties is 15 percent. That’s 2 points higher than the California median. Educated Californians are moving to Texas.

So, on every proxy for intelligence available to us, it appears that intelligence predicts moving to Texas.

In terms of voting in 2020 in those counties, all but one voted for Democrat Joe Biden and nearly 40 percent of them gave him more than 70 percent of the vote. Generally, Leftism is itself a correlate of intelligence, partly due to intelligence predicting high social conformity [Beyond the Cultural Mediation Hypothesis: A reply to Dutton (2013), by Michael Woodley of Menie & Curtis Dunkel, Intelligence, April 2015].

But the Californians leaving may not just be the more intelligent, but also Republican—there are Republican minorities even in the Biden-voting areas. This means they may not try to introduce the policies that have destroyed California. We could not test this with our data. But a poll in 2019 found that Republicans were far more inclined than Democrats to seriously consider leaving California [Leaving California: Half of State’s Voters Have Been Considering This; Republicans and Conservatives Three Times as likely as Democrats and Liberals to be Giving Serious Consideration to Leaving the State, by M. DiCamillo, UC Berkeley, 2019]. So this may be a case of high IQ, conservative migration.

Our study does not bode well for the Bear Flag Republic’s future. The intelligent are abandoning it, just as they did Detroit, Baltimore, and other major cities. They are doing so, at least in part, because Leftist policies, while making their advocates appear superficially kind, hinder creativity and industriousness even as they create lawless chaos and high crime.

And the new arrivals may not “California My Texas” after all!

Edward Dutton (email him | Tweet him) is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Asbiro University, Łódź, Poland.  You can see him on his Jolly Heretic video channels on YouTube and Bitchute. His books are available on his home page here.

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